Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week Six – Tuesday February 8, 2011 – Day 37 - Espace Fondation / Champs-Élysées

Visited REHAB, l’art de re-faire at Espace Fondation EDF (a green power company) located in the 7th arr. The exhibition was recycled art from the current time back to the 1970’s. Some interesting art in an interesting space. It looks like a recycled train building on a pedestrian street with a lovely garden at the end of the street, overlooked by interesting architecture apartment buildings.

Walked a bit on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées 8th arr to see how the other 3% are living.

Got provisions for dinner - cooked pork loin at the charcuterie, some cheese, and John saw some Mousse au Chocolate Artisanale at the Fromergerie. Oh my god it is good. Ingredients_ eggs, chocolate, butter, no sugar with an expire date of five days from now!
We have eaten out infrequently. It has been expensive and not great. The food we get at the shops and at the marches is wonderful. We talked at dinner about what it would cost to have a great meal in Paris – at least $300 each we think.

Week Six – Monday February 7, 2011 – Day 36- Musée Cluny 5th arr

What a beautiful day in Paris, sunny skies and warm. Went to Le Musée national du Moyen Age which is located in two buildings - the gallo – roman Therms (baths) dating from the 1st to 3rd century, and the L’Hotel de abbes de Cluny dating from the 15th century. This museum houses the Lady and the Unicorn, a series of 6 tapestries. It really is stunning to see such an iconic image in real life, and this is the oldest architectural site in Paris and a preview of Southern France.

Week Five – Sunday February 6, 2011 – Day 35-Year of the Rabbit

Went to the Chinese New Year parade (Year of the Rabbit), in the 13th arrondissement, location of the largest Chinese population in Paris. Stephanie met us with Mathis and a friend. Started out with a photography meet up group but it was way too crowed to be in a large group. The best thing about our location was the firecrackers hanging in front of the Chinese store. Lots of big noise and smoke! Glad I got to see other meet up members’ photos because mine were not shot with a telephoto and we were in the crowd. Fortunately it was a short parade and we went with Stef and the boys to eat at a bustling Chinese restaurant in the area.

Week Five – Saturday February 5, 2011 – Day 34 -Le Corbusier in the 16th

We attended a “Meetup” walking tour of masterpieces of major Parisian architects of the 19th and 20th century, notably Guimard, Sauvage, Perret, Stevens and Le Corbusier. “Meetup” member Sylvie, who did a fantastic job, led the tour, which focused on buildings in the 16th arrondissement. Not all Meetup groups are worthwhile but this is the second time we have attended this PIYP Meetup and the experience and the people are great. We also visited the Maison Roche, a house built by Le Corbusier, for a Swiss banker to house his art collection. After a long day of walking and photographing, we stopped in a café to rest with the remaining Meetup members and tour leaders Sylvie and Sab.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Week Five – Day 32 - Jeu de Paume - Tulleries

It rained hard last night so everything is wet today, although it is not raining now. Went to Jeu de Paume for a photography exhibit of work by Andre Kertesz, and video exhibit articulated around personal experience, anecdotes and testimony. Walked in the jardin des tulleries, a public garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. Created by Catherine de Medicis as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564.

Week Five – Day 29 - Aubervilliers

We road the 65 bus from the Gare de Lyon to the end of the line at Marie d’Aubervilliers. John hates doing this (he doesn’t like the bus) but I love it. I could just randomly ride all bus lines and enjoy the views out the window. It was a long ride, with lots of construction delays, for the extention of the RER, as we approached Aubervilliers, which is a suburb of Paris in the northeast. We got a coffee in a café in Aubervilliers that was a horse betting scene. It was very colorful and interesting but I was too timid to photograph it!

Week Five – Day 30 - Canal Saint-Martin

It has been very cold the last two days. 3°C/ -1°C or 36 F/ 31F. A few snow flurries yesterday, and some patches of frozen stuff on the ground. Although the cold does not bother me, and I am still not wearing my heavy coat, it does eliminate lingering outside. We walked the Canal de St Martin in the 10th arr. Canal Saint-Martin is a 4.5 km long canal in Paris. It connects the Canal de l'Ourcq to the river Seine. By the 1960s, traffic on the canal had dwindled to a trickle and the canal narrowly escaped being filled in and paved over for a highway. Today, the canal is covered from Rue du Faubourg du Temple to the Place de la Bastille, so the connection to the Seine is from the North not the South. Would have loved to have seen boats coming through the locks but did not.
Had dinner with Stu Ballin (the brother of Kirk Ballin from Roanoke) and his wife Ann, who live in the15th arrondissement, on the 30th floor of a building with magnificent views of the Eiffel Tower.